Waitrose Case Study

Waitrose: Results to FEEL GOOD about

For those with only 30 seconds, this is what we achieved:

  • We increased ROAS by 211% YoY
  • There was a 26% increase in YoY Revenue with 52% less spend
  • There was a 33% increase in new customer acquisition from H1 to H2
  • In total, we were able to increase new customer acquisition from 4% to 12%
  • Existing customer revenue grew by 18% YoY with overall revenue increasing by 26%, 6% above the objective set by the client

What was the challenge?

Due to a shift in budgets midway through the financial year of 2023, Silverbean was tasked with increasing the profitability and ROAS of the Waitrose Grocery affiliate programme. The brief provided by the client was for the programme to continue driving year-on-year (YoY) growth at a lower overall cost to the business.

With the client, Silverbean revised a year-to-go budget, working to create a 6-week strategy that would ensure the programme’s growth could be maintained. 

Each of the week’s specific trials would inform the next, should the programme begin to fall behind its YoY growth targets (+20%), then the strategy could be paused, revised or rolled back.

Our overarching objective was clear; to bring the programme in on the new budget total, whilst hitting our growth target. A secondary objective was to increase new customer contribution from 4% to 8% while aiming for a % growth with the brand’s loyal existing customers in a difficult financial climate. 

What was our solution?

As a response to the change in budgets, Silverbean devised a 6-week trial to test the incrementality of the programme and improve the overall Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). The strategy we rolled out was devised to provide us with answers to scenarios regarding consumer spending habits and in turn, reduce the cost per sale to the business. It also spoke specifically to the business’s need to maintain significant growth whilst the groundwork was carried out to improve profitability and provide the programme with a sustainable long-term plan.

At the close of each test, the data was reviewed to extract a definitive answer, leading us to unlock the next stage of the testing process. At the close of each test, results were updated and shared with the client; was growth still being maintained and could we continue to the next scenario? At each stage the results were positive, the growth patterns through the programme were maintained and in some cases exceeded due to the trials that were taking place. This indicated we could continue to build the data to inform forthcoming changes. At no point did the existing customer’s actions decline as a result of the trials.

What results were achieved?

The results of this robust testing phase allowed us to unlock more permanent changes to the account’s commission structure. 

Despite changes only coming into play midway through the year (the FY start is February 2023, and changes were made in June 2023) the Waitrose Grocery programme delivered a 26% YoY increase through the affiliate channel. This was delivered at 52% less spend than the previous year.

At its peak in November 2023, we increased the new customer rate from 4% to 12%, which was 4% above our initial target. This was done whilst maintaining a 16% YoY growth from existing customers.

Overall for the year, existing customer revenue grew by 18% YoY, with overall revenue growing by 26% YoY, which is 6% above the objective set by the client. This gave us a 211% increase in ROAS from the previous year.

What did Waitrose have to say?

Silverbean has helped us achieve our business goals and more. They have been instrumental in driving down our costs while delivering YOY growth in revenue and conversions. They have improved profitability by having a great understanding of our customer base. They are a dedicated team that reacted positively to the challenging brief and delivered amazing results. We are very happy with their service.

Nikki Gamble, Digital Marketing Manager Programmatic & Affiliates